30 Nov 2011

Alan Watt view on life

I love this little speech by Alan Watts. The first time I heard this, it really got me thinking : Am I really living fully or am I chasing the elusive carrot on a stick? It seems like our culture has created this mundane life journey that all of us must blindly follow even though it's not really what makes all of us happy. And as soon as one of us is brave enough to create our own path, others will start persecuting us for not doing the "right" thing (a.k.a what everybody else is doing). As a result, those of us who decide to follow our own path end up successful and happy and are often hated and criticized the sheep who end up wasting their own lives and not living to their full potential. 

Every so often, when I need a little reminder of how important it is to live life to the fullest, I like to watch and listen to this clip. There's also a great like by Drake Moment for life :  "I’m really tryn'a make it more than what it is, cause everybody dies but not everybody lives". 


16 Nov 2011

kelly rowland's wise words

I like Kelly Rowland. There's a lot to learn from someone like her. She's very talented but always seemed to come second back when Destiny's Child was out. When the members of Destiny's Child decided to go solo, it must have been nerve racking. But she's come a long way and it's great to see her blossom into a successful independent woman: Very inspiring. She recently did an interview with Stylist Magazine and there are two great quotes that resonated with me: 

1. If you pay attention to what somebody else is doing then you could be missing out on something you could be doing yourself. To me, it’s like watching a sprinter. They’re looking straight ahead because if they look from side to side, they will fall and fail. It’s important to look straight ahead.

That is so true!I guess there is a difference between looking up to people as an inspiration and looking at what other people do and what they have, wishing you had something similar. It's a waste of time. Not an easy thing to do as I think you can also end up admiring people and never doing something for yourself. I guess the important thing is to take action and do your own thing. I think that's basically what she did after Destiny's Child. Looks like it worked :). 

2. The world would be boring as hell if everybody looked alike, dressed alike, with the same body type.

Accepting that we are all different and that it's okay seem hard for a lot of people. Sometime I feel like everything around us is trying to mold us into an "ideal" homogenous mold. Going against the grain is not easy. As I'm getting older, I'm more and more comfortable being different and following my own dreams without worrying about what others think... most of the time. lol. Still working on it. 

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15 Nov 2011

life lesson from Calvin and Hobbes

I'm a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes. I used to read the comic books all the time. As I kid, reading them was just fun. Reading them as an adult, like the one above, brings new meaning. I find this one particularly inspiring : Wanting to have "the strength to change what [you] can, the inability to accept what [you] can't and the incapacity to tell the difference". To me that's the mind of someone who want to make a difference.

Those are great words to live by as opposed to the dictum where it was derived from saying "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference". To me these are the words of someone who always has an excuse and don't accomplish as much as he or she can. I imagined this and many other quotes from Bill Watterson (the author) probably helped shaped the person I am today. I do have a tendency to want to change things and not let the naysayers stop me from doing what I think is right. (just realized this as I'm writing this post). I'm very grateful to Bill Watterson for this, and the great snowmen ideas :)  

Isn't it fascinating and amazing that something as simple as a comic strip can influence someone's life?  

images : 1 | 2 

4 Nov 2011

learning from elders


I'm a big fan of Andrew Zuckerman's 2008 book project called Wisdom where he interviewed and photographed several senior celebrities to learn from their experiences. This project is already 3 years old, but still very relevant. I think it's an important step in our evolution as human beings to learn from those who came before us and also pass on the information we have to those who come after us. I think I'm going to buy this book. There's a lot of insights just from the trailer.

My favorite quotes from this trailer ...






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1 Nov 2011

kris & kim : what happened?

It's was all over the tabloids : Kim and Kris are getting divorced. Most people saw it coming and therefore there were a lot of negative comments all over the internet. But why? It's not like if they are the first couple to split soon after they got married. I've seen weddings that didn't even last a month or two (and they were not celebrities). 

First of, I watch their show. I enjoy it but probably not for all the same reason a lot of people do. There are interesting things to learn from other people's experiences no matter who they are or what they do. So reality shows like the Kardashians just make it convenient for me. I also saw their wedding special on E.  And although I was hoping Kim and Kris would figure a way to work things out (everyone deserves to be happy), I could see from the wedding episode that there were a lot of red flags in their televised relationship. It's too bad, because part of me thinks that despite these cracks, if they had truly committed to one another, it could have worked. 

Within the first few minutes of the wedding special, you could see that communication and compromises were big issues. There were so many "red flag moments" that it would take forever to name them all so I picked out a few as examples from the first 10-15 minutes of the show: 

RED FLAG # 1 : Ignoring a fundamental problem. 
In a particular scene, Kris wanted a toned down wedding or perhaps a wedding that involved both of them as opposed to only her vision. From the location, the food, the theme, etc, everything was Kim's choice and everything Kris suggested was dismissed. Not only was it dismissed but Kim had her mom on her side and a whole team of wedding planners. The poor guy had no chance. Kim had a vision and no one was going to get in her way. So when Kris approached Kim with his concern she dismissed it.  After all, the wedding is the bride's day. 
Sounds familiar? She was behaving like many (if not most) brides-to-be all over America. The only difference is that she had a bigger budget. Unfortunately, this seem to have become the standard. You see this all the time. A lot of brides-to-be expect their wedding day to be the day they can be a princess and create their own lavish fantasy Cinderella ball. Whatever they want goes and the grooms to be just have to put up with it. It's a weird misconception of marriage in North America and the media feeds off it with TV shows like Bridezillas, Say Yes to the Dress, Rich Bride Poor Bride, Wedding SOS, etc. They all encourage that behavior but ultimately people make their own decision. So it's not necessarily all of Kim's fault, she's also fallen victim of that scam where people forget that they are getting married as a symbol of commitment and love to one another. Everything around it, the location, the guests list, the cake, the dress, etc. All this doesn't matter. It's all fluff and distraction. You don't need the excuse of a wedding to throw the biggest party. Just throw the biggest party for a birthday instead!

In the previous scene what I saw was this : 

Kris : This is getting out of control. Why don't we refocus on the purpose of all this and make it more about us that what people expect?
Kim: What do you mean we have to lower our standards. I have a lot of pressure and a reputation to keep. People are comparing us to William and Kate. We can't mess this up. We'll figure us later.
Kris: I think we should slow down and talk about this 
Kim: I can't slow down, it' on. I don't want to talk about this right now. I have too much on my plate. The last thing I need is more problems to solve. Sorry. You have to toughen up. 

RED FLAG # 2 : Ignoring your gut feeling
At the rehearsal, everyone was tense. There's something to say about the energy that people bring into a room. Kim and Kris were both furious, they were smiling on the outside, but they were both boiling inside. And from the look of people's faces and behaviors, everyone was feeling it. Even the wedding planner was snappy! 

At this point there were a lot of unresolved issues that was just piling on top of one another and despite their smiles and jokes, bits of it was spilling out. That's where things like "Still gonna scream at you when you when I get a chance" from Kris and "Go for it. I'll fuckin' slice you" from Kim came out. Would two loving couple say that BEFORE they get married? 

But they were going through with it. I guess it's hard to shut everything down, specially when so much money and so many people are involved and waiting. I can only imagine what kind of pressure they were in. That must have sucked, big time. So despite their gut feeling telling them and showing us they should not go through with this, they did. To relieve the pressure of all that built up anger, they fired shot at each other by humiliating with a smile on Kim's part and not taking any of the stuff seriously on Kris' part. 

I bet Kim's family sensed that something was wrong. Kloe said it best. I also had the impression that Kim's mom was trying to lighten the mood and maybe bring more positive energy in the room.

RED FLAG # 3 : Ignoring each other
Ignoring each other when you're supposed to come together? At this point there was no more US in this union. And you can see this clearly in the "table arrangement scene" when Kim finds a "problem" because one of HIS friend had been assigned to HER table. Problem? If you're getting married, your friends are going to mingle, right? Isn't a wedding a got way to start mixing your friends? Not for this wedding unfortunately. I bet Kris was hurt. Some guys would have yelled, others would have talked, he decided to leave. The best thing would have been to talk openly and honestly. Instead, it just added more on the list of things they were both angry about. 
This continued all the way to the rehearsal dinner. The anger turned into hate (at least from Kim's side) and Kris was just avoiding the bad energy, but he also did things to egg her on. His last "plea" for Kim to give him a bit of time (the mustache) went unnoticed. Perhaps she was also distracted by the many little things he was doing to annoy her, like eating food out of the plate with his hands. She was cringing. Of course it would have been better to actually talk things out than just grow a mustache. Maybe it's a maturity thing? Again, lack of communication and lack of compromise made things worst.  And the "friends" kept their poker face the whole time. I don't know how close friends these people were, but if these were my friends, I would hope that I would have said something. It's not normal to hate your significant before you get married. 

At the end, even though they were still mad at each other and things were unresolved, they managed to sweep it under the table and come together on the surface. 

RED FLAG # 4 : Lack of commitment and deceit
The whole name change thing was big for Kris. There was a scene before where Kim told Kris that she would take his name. It was just the two of them. They were happy and looked like they were in love. Then she told her mom who freaked out and brought out the business. So the seed of doubt was implanted. She came back to Kris and said, she spoke to her family and think it might be better for her to keep her name. Of course he was crushed and hurt. But again, instead of discussing this with him she sort of made a half decision with her family (Not the best way to start a married life together). At the end of the day, it's her choice, but I think it would have been better to discuss it with him first and come to a decision together.

In any case, the final decision on the name change came the day they had to sign their marriage license and that's when he found out (ouch!). So they never discussed it, even though that was important to him. I'm assuming that was a big blow and brought a larger wedge between the two. 
So they went through with the wedding, the photos, the celebrity friends. All of it was a good distraction from all the tension that had built up from unresolved issues. Then the party was over, and they probably had to face all these issues and more. Don't know what happened (Perhaps we'll find out on the next season), but it must have not been pretty to the point where they were seen separately at different functions and had to explain each of them. And, if the rumors are true about how the divorce happened, he found out through the media (see a trend here?)

You know the funny thing is that, I still think that depending on why and how they fell in love, things could work themselves out if they really want to. After all, love is not a passive word, it's an active word. It's like a plant, you have to take care of it for it to grow, otherwise, it just dies. Her sister Kourney and brother in law Scott, are a great example showing that if you are truly committed and you working on your relationship, it can grow. 

I wish them the best whether it's together or apart and hope that they learned from this, because when you know better, you do better. 

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